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30 Sep, 2021 10:04

EU could revise visa-free travel scheme with Ukraine, Moldova & Georgia over abuses such as unfounded asylum claims — EUobserver

EU could revise visa-free travel scheme with Ukraine, Moldova & Georgia over abuses such as unfounded asylum claims — EUobserver

Several countries in the European Union want to begin discussions on the future of visa-free travel within the bloc for citizens of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, after complaints that a number of people have abused the system.

According to EUobserver, which has seen an internal document, some EU countries are becoming frustrated with the number of unlawful residency and unfounded asylum claims coming from these three countries, as well as citizens of some western Balkan states.

Germany appears to be the main complainant, with France and Italy also registering their frustration.

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Nationals of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia are allowed to travel to the EU’s Schengen Area, made up of 26 nations, without a visa for up to 90 days at a time.

After it was revealed that the EU may make changes to the visa-free agreement with these nations, Georgia’s foreign minister refuted the suggestion as a “lie.”

“I want to reassure everyone and also disappoint the people who took this story so seriously. I know that our opponents are very excited, and it’s incredible when opponents rejoice at the failure of the country, and I want to disappoint them,” David Zalkaliani told Formulanews.

“This is a very big lie.”

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Germany itself has also denied the story, despite EUobserver seeing complaints from Berlin.

“Reading this news was just as unexpected for me as it was for everyone,” said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “I asked about this in Berlin and at the Federal Interior Ministry and found out that this was not real news. This is fake news.”

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